Arizona Baseball

Arizona outlasts Stanford to take game one of series

Jackson Kent had eight strikeouts in his start for Arizona on Friday night. (Arizona Athletics)

A big fifth inning helped No. 21 Arizona end a three-game skid with a 12-8 win over Stanford Friday night at Hi Corbett Field. 

A combined 11 pitchers took the mound, and the Wildcats and Cardinals combined for 27 hits. 

Arizona (27-17, 15-7 Pac-12) came into the game following two road losses at Washington last weekend, which snapped an 11-game Pac-12 winning streak and a 24-8 blowout-loss to Grand Canyon on Tuesday.

“It’s just important to win,” Arizona head coach Chip Hale said. “We’re at that point in the season where every day is a new day, and you just got to try to win the first inning.”

The game was tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth when the Wildcats added four runs to take a 9-5 lead off a pair of RBI doubles from Garen Caulfield and Maddox Mihalakis, an RBI single from Tommy Splaine and a scored run by Blake McDonald on a wild pitch. 

Arizona held a 9-6 lead in the top of the sixth when Dawson Netz came in to relieve Kyler Heyne with two outs and two runners on. Stanford (20-23, 11-11 Pac-12) tacked on two more runs after Cort MacDonald scored from third on a balk and Jimmy Nati hit an RBI double, closing the gap to 9-8 heading into the bottom half. 

The Wildcats added two runs in the bottom of the sixth from an RBI single from McDonald and an RBI sacrifice fly from Andrew Cain, and one run in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice bunt from McDonald.

McDonald went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. He started at catcher in place of Adonys Guzman, who got hit by a ball in the arm earlier in the week. He had been splitting time with Guzman at catcher earlier in the season before Guzman solidified the starting position.

“He was really good,” Hale said of McDonald’s night. “The one thing you never have to worry about with Blake is that he’s always ready. Whether he’s in the lineup or out of the lineup, starting the day after a night game, he’s going to be ready.”

McDonald says sticking with his process has helped him be ready when called on. 

“I trust my plan. I don’t prepare any differently if I’m playing or not playing,” he said. “So, knowing the opportunities are going to come I’m going to be ready for it. That’s the main thing. Just staying true to what I do.”

Kyler Heyne (3-0) allowed three runs off three hits, adding a strikeout in one inning of relief. Arizona’s starter, Jackson Kent, struck out eight and allowed five runs off seven hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Caulfield’s RBI groundout to shortstop scored Brendan Summerhill, who reached base with a leadoff triple.

Stanford loaded the bases in the top of the second before a one-out sacrifice fly to center from Trevor Haskins evened the score a 1-1.

Arizona regained the lead in the bottom of the second off an RBI double by Andrew Cain, and a two-out RBI triple from TJ Adams later in the second extended Arizona’s lead to 3-1.

Stanford added a run in the top of the third on an RBI single from Ethan Hott, cutting Arizona’s lead to 3-2.

Arizona scored two more runs in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Emilio Corona and an RBI double from Mihalakis.

Stanford tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth off an RBI single from MacDonald and a bases-loaded two-RBI single to center from Brandon Larson.

Arizona plays Stanford in game two of the series on Saturday at 6 p.m.

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top